Originally created 01/07/01

Pet Santa critic way off base

As a volunteer for Molly's Militia (Elaine van der Linden's organization) and an advisory board member for Richmond County Animal Control, I was perplexed by Mitch Courson's Dec. 31 letter to the editor.

His information is inaccurate and makes me wonder where he obtained it. Ms. van der Linden was not "slamming" the idea of Santa delivering an animal, but the idea of charging for the service.

Contrary to Dr. Bonnie Bragdon's statement that it was not mandatory, the original article never mentioned that the fee was voluntary until criticism surfaced.

Having volunteered for over a year for Molly's Militia, I have never known Ms. van der Linden to insist on "being in charge." Also, to the best of my knowledge, she has never been kicked out of any other pet organization.

I have, however, known her to give many pets (spayedneutered, shots, etc.) to families that could not afford the fee. This fee covers all medical work done, as Ms. van der Linden prefers to adopt out only after all work is done to ensure the pet's health. I have also known her to pay veterinary bills for families that otherwise would have lost their beloved pet if medical attention was not given.

Ms. van der Linden puts in a minimum of 12 hours a day and has spent thousands of dollars out of her own pocket. I wonder how much time, effort and money Mr. Courson donates to organizations geared toward helping the needy.

Jodie Graham, Augusta


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